Braces and other dental appliances designed to straighten teeth have long met with resistance from the people who could most benefit from their use: teens and children who otherwise have a fully developed dental structure and their permanent teeth.
The tide may have turned, however, according to a recent study from the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO). Could kids actually want braces?
Options Lead to Attitude Shift
The survey of registered, specialist orthodontists in Australia was not a wholly scientific one, but it yielded interesting results regarding kids’ attitudes about traditional braces, clear braces and options such as aligners:
- 70 percent of children who are told they would benefit from braces react with happiness
- 94 percent of orthodontists said parents have scheduled appointments because a child desires braces
- 90 percent of orthodontists said they have seen children become visibly upset if told they don’t need dental work
The study credits modern technology and more choices. Even what most adults consider “traditional” metal braces are smaller, lighter and more comfortable than those of years past. Plus, braces are available in clear and brightly colored versions, so they can be personalized to suit each person’s style.
Braces and Beyond
In addition to standard braces, there are other orthodontic options designed to straighten teeth and bring the bite into optimal position. The best option for you depends on your unique bite structure. At My Hills Dentist in Sydney, we offer choices including:
- Simpli5™, clear braces that work similarly to traditional braces, but use a series of only five aligners to shift the teeth into the proper position
- Six Month Smiles®, a virtually invisible system that rapidly corrects common misalignments of the front teeth
- Smilefast™, short-term orthodontics designed to treat cosmetic misalignments
A thorough exam is necessary to determine the most effective treatment. Bite conditions vary widely, and not every treatment is well suited for each patient.
The Benefits of Treating Bite Conditions
The findings of the ASO research, even if informal, are heartening because the long-term benefits of treating misaligned teeth and the bite problems known as malocclusions extend beyond having a pretty smile. Well-aligned teeth enhance bite performance, and help prevent premature decay and gum disease by eliminating spaces where plaque would otherwise accumulate.
A proper bite structure also prevents unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth, and reduces stress on temporomandibular joints, which connect the jaw and the skull. Untreated bite conditions are thought to increase the risk of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which often results in chronic jaw discomfort and recurring headaches.
If you’re considering braces for yourself or your child, Sydney dentist Dr. David Lee can help you understand your options and make the most effective choice for your individual needs. Please call My Hills Dentist today at (02) 9686 7375 to schedule your consultation at our Baulkham Hills office.